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These are the coolest features of Apple Watch so far

Gesture controls for Apple Watch

Apple has designed many cool gesture controls for Apple Watch to help people with disabilities.

For those who can’t interact with the touchscreen easily, the new Assistive Touch enables them to control without touching the screen.

That includes clenching the fist, pinching fingers, and incredibly, shaking the wrist to summon a cursor, which can be controlled by tilting the Watch around. We’re not going to lie, it looks a lot of fun – although there’s a serious element, allowing people who struggle to use the smartwatch for physical reasons to enjoy its best features.

The Apple watch can know the gestures and motion of your arm by using a range of motion and optical heart rate signals.

“Apple Watch can detect subtle differences in muscle movement and tendon activity, which lets users navigate a cursor on the display through a series of hand gestures, like a pinch or a clench,” said an Apple blog on the new features.

There’s a great video showing some practical applications of the new gesture controls. The video shows users flicking between watch options by pinching, physical tabs around the display. In another example, a quick message appears on the watch instructing the user to double-grip to answer an incoming call. In the final video, a flick of the wrist reveals a watch pointer. The user then controls it with their wrist, hovers over an option on the watch, and provides a confirmation grip.

Apple Watch faces and complications

If you want to personalize your own Apple Watch, you can change the watch face. Apple has kept the number of Apple Watch faces on a tight leash, though, drip-feeding our new offerings with every watchOS update, and not allowing any third-party editions.

What’s more, most Apple watch faces are with many sections: they are small widgets and nuggets that you can change them. Loads of your existing apps already have complications, so there’s a wealth of functionality ready to go.

We’ll show you how to get started with complications.

How to customize the watch face and add complications

As you press and hold to cycle through the watch faces, you’ll notice the “Customize” button – this allows you to edit each watch face’s color, design elements and complexities and save them to this library.

Once you press Customize, a green line will be around your watch face. Swipe over to the right a couple of times until you can’t swipe over anymore. This is the area where you can change your complications. You can now select the individual complication areas and use the Digital Crown to select a new one.

You can also change the widgets on the face in the companion Watch app on the paired iPhone. All you have to do is click on any individual face in the “My Faces” section in the companion app and scroll down to the “Complications” area.

How to change the watch face with iPhone

Here is the watch face list in the Apple watch companion app. Go to the companion app and open the Face Gallery.

From there you can view each watch face and a host of customized options and apply them to your Apple Watch from the app. It certainly makes it easier to compare the subtleties of complications side-by-side – and delete any options you no longer like.

Apple Pay is available on your Apple Watch

How to set it up on your Apple Watch

If you’re an Apple Watch and iPhone user, you might be surprised to find that the two devices work independently of each other when it comes to Apple Pay. Although the two devices are symbiotic, they use separate and unlinked Passbook apps, which means you can use two separate cards. It also means you can buy things without an iPhone, which is great news if you’re out for a run or to the store to buy milk.

The process is exactly the same. On the Apple Watch app (on your iPhone), you need to launch the Wallet Apple Pay app. Then, you can choose to add a credit or debit card. If you want to set it up on your iPhone, you can do it through the Wallet app on your phone.

You must set up a passcode before using Apple Pay. Apple Pay won’t work without it so would-be thieves can’t make payments from your smartwatch.

Once that’s finished, it is available to use. You scan your card using your phone’s camera, then update any missing information.

And then, you’ll receive an email or SMS with a verification code – which you need to enter into the phone app. Once verified, a confirmation that you’re ready to go will pop up on the Apple Watch.

How to use it on your Apple Watch

Now all things are done, it’s time to start splashing the cash from the wrist.

On Apple Watch, just get close to a contactless receiver (whether at a storefront counter or a London Underground barrier) and tap the side button.

A picture of your card will be shown on the screen, and that means you can pay. Just hold your Apple Watch to the card reader and you should hear a tone (or feel a vibration) and receive a tick on the watch face instantly.

For iPhone users, the NFC chip should launch the Passbook app when near the contactless reader. The difference here, though, is that you’ll first need to verify things through Touch ID or Face ID – on the Watch, you’re verified simply by having the device on the wrist after entering your PIN.

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